On Monday 27 April at 3pm CEST, the inaugural edition of the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro online tournament will get underway. A total of 32 tennis professionals (16 in the ATP draw and 16 in the WTA draw) will be testing their skills with a PlayStation 4 controller in hand as they bid to become champion of the videogame Tennis World Tour (Nacon Gaming).
The matches will last approximately 15 minutes and there will be a total of 24 clashes. Divided into four groups of four players, the ties on the first day of competition will all be in the group stage. The duo charged with raising the curtain will be Diego Schwartzman and David Ferrer, who is returning to the tour for this innovative virtual event.
There will be two matches in the men’s Group 1. At 3:30 pm, five-time champion of the tournament Rafa Nadal will take on young Canadian player Denis Shapovalov, while Benoit Paire and Andy Murray will square off at 4:15 pm. Group 2 will see clashes between Diego Schwartzman and John Isner a 4:45 pm and the Argentine will be back to face Dominic Thiem at 7:45 pm.
Group 3 has some great duels in store in the Manolo Santana Stadium. Stefanos Tsitsipas, a finalist last year, and Fabio Fognini will play their mouth-watering tie at 5:15 pm. At 5:45, the Italian will be back on court to take on Frances Tiafoe. At 6:45 pm Tsitsipas and Kei Nishikori will meet on the Madrid clay, while the Japanese player, a finalist in 2014, and Tiafoe will cross paths at 8:15 pm.
Finally, Group 4 will see its opening match at 6:15 pm as David Goffin takes on Lucas Pouille. 2018 Mutua Madrid Open champion Alexander Zverev will have his first taste of action at 7:15 pm against Karen Khachanov and will be back on court at 8:45 pm to play Pouille.
The women’s draw is all set to start at 3:15 pm with Carla Suárez, the only Spaniard in the WTA draw, and Belinda Bencic. Also in Group 1, Karolina Pliskova and Fiona Ferro will be playing their first match at 3:45 pm. Group 2 will kick off at 4:30 pm with a match between Johanna Konta and Sorana Cirstea. One hour later, at 5:30 pm, the Romanian will be back to face Elina Svitolina. Then at 7:30 pm, Victoria Azarenka and Konta will be battling for victory.
Group 3 will not get underway until 7:00 pm, with the much-anticipated return of Caroline Wozniacki, a 2009 finalist, and Kristina Mladenovic, finalist in 2017. At 8:30 pm, the Danish ex-world number one will be back to face Bianca Andreescu, who will return at 9:00 pm to close out the day’s play against Madison Keys.
Finally, Grupo 4 will be the busiest with four matches. At 5:00 pm Angelique Kerber will be bidding for her first win against Donna Vekic. The German will be on court again at 6:00 pm to face last year’s champion Kiki Bertens. 6:30 pm will see a stellar duel between Vekic and Eugenie Bouchard, and at 8:00 pm Bertens and Bouchard will square off in the group’s final match of the day.